How enterprises use their products to be efficient (not impersonal)

Written by Pippa Armes  | 

5 min

 

While large or enterprise-level organizations generally have access to more resources than their startup or scale-up counterparts, they face a different challenge: Operating efficiently at scale, and without losing their personal touch.

In the past, routine—yet essential—activities like onboarding and support have relied on human-led, 1:1 efforts. But for large businesses and enterprises with hundreds—or even thousands—of customers, this manual, hands-on approach simply isn’t repeatable at scale. Not only does it require dedicated time and focus from individuals across the business (including stakeholders in sales, customer success, learning and development, and support, to name a few), it doesn’t deliver the best experience possible. Today’s users want the ability to self-serve and move through these processes at their own pace.

For enterprise companies, it’s also not uncommon for deals, customer outreach programs, and marketing programs to all feel as though they’re happening in siloes. According to Salesforce, in 2021, 60% of business buyers generally reported feeling as though they were communicating with different departments (not a unified company) during most of their purchasing experiences. Not only does this create friction in the buyer journey, it also leads to internal inefficiency and wasted time or resources.

The smartest enterprises unify their organizations around a shared pool of product data, and lean on the products they build or buy to offload manual tasks from their teams—ultimately empowering them to deliver amazing, tailored experiences at scale.

 

They use in-app guides to meet users in the moments that matter

If looking at your overflowing inbox stresses you out, you’re not alone. Today, most of us are feeling the brunt of email fatigue—and yet email is still the primary channel most teams and businesses rely most heavily on. Because we’re constantly inundated by (often conflicting) messages in our inboxes, it’s not surprising that many of them slip through the cracks or go unheeded—including important product-related notices, updates, or announcements. 

While email probably isn’t going away anytime soon, there is another, much more effective (and far less anxiety-inducing) way to communicate important updates to users: in-app messaging. Unlike emails—which require additional brain- and willpower to absorb and act on outside the context of the product—in-app guides reach users with the most impactful and relevant messaging possible. That’s because they can be personalized based on user metadata or informed by product engagement data and usage analytics. 

In-app guides are also particularly effective because, as the name implies, they’re delivered to users as they’re engaged with the product or feature in question. This timely and fully contextual guidance ensures users will actually see and heed the communications, and improves the likelihood that they’ll complete any required actions then and there. Plus, with Pendo In-app Guides, non-technical teams across the organization can feel empowered to engage with the right audiences, at the right time, without relying on engineering support or waiting for the next product release.

 

They use in-app onboarding and support to get users to value, fast

No matter what industry you’re in, today’s customers and employees increasingly expect the ability to self-serve most aspects of their product experiences. According to Salesforce, over 57% of customers prefer to engage with vendors digitally rather than through human-led interactions—and this number is only likely to grow in the coming years. And in the case of internal workplace software, employees expect the same ease of use and self-service experience from the software they use at work as they do from the software they use as consumers.

Bringing onboarding inside the product doesn’t just allow users to navigate their onramp experience at their own pace. It also improves knowledge retention and long-term proficiency. Combined, this helps users realize the value of the product—and start using it in the intended ways—much faster. 

Support processes benefit greatly from this product-led approach. By using the product as a vehicle through which to deliver support and share helpful resources, companies can reduce their overhead costs and the number of support tickets and calls they receive, free up their support and services teams to focus only on the most critical cases (rather than routine FAQs and issues that users can easily resolve themselves), get users to value as quickly as possible.

 

They solicit feedback in-app to collect social proof

Particularly when it comes to enterprise-scale deals, buyers often rely heavily on social proof and the experiences of organizations similar to theirs to validate their decisions. This kind of unbiased, customer-provided feedback is a powerful tool for persuasion, and—when leveraged effectively—can improve the efficacy and reach of any organization’s marketing efforts.

By asking for feedback and social proof in-app (rather than through external channels like email or web forms), users are far more likely to submit reviews or share ratings. In-app feedback collection reduces friction, because users don’t need to leave the product to provide input. It also improves the quality of feedback received, because users are sharing it while they’re fully immersed in the product experience.

Using in-app guides as a vehicle for collecting social proof also gives teams across the organization greater targeting and control over any incoming reviews or ratings. For example, marketing teams can strategically time solicitations for social proof (e.g. app store ratings) to only appear following the successful completion of a workflow, or correlating with a moment of delight. This ultimately yields much more favorable and timely feedback—as opposed to less frequent approaches (e.g. annual or semiannual surveys) which serve as lagging indicators of user satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

 

Read the full white paper, 4 enterprise challenges you didn’t know your product could solve, to dive deeper into how enterprises can maintain personability at scale—and to learn about three other major challenges enterprise-scale organizations are using their products to address.